What a beard! What a name!

Bezaleel W. Armstrong. Graduated U.S. Military Academy and Brevet 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Dragoons, 1845; copy of daguerreotype, circa 1846. (ARC 530873; 111-SC-83420)

If this Friday’s facial hair star lived in present times, he would be so very easy to Google.

Yes, “Bezaleel Armstrong” would be pretty easy to find on Facebook and the Internet. In fact, even now a quick name-check in the Google search box pulls up plenty of hits on his unique name.

He would also be pretty easy to spot in a crowd, with his chin-strap beard and long curled hair.

Belazeel was one of eight children, whose names were just as noteworthy: James, John Milton, Margaret King, Albert, George Washington, Eliza Jane, and William Wallace.

The Armstrong family papers are in the Minnesota Historical Library.

Today’s post is not Bezaleel’s only brush with fame. This daguerreotype (a precursor to today’s photography) is also in the Digital Vaults of the National Archives Experience.

Bezaleel was also a veteran of the Mexican War, serving at Vera Cruz and Mexico City in 1847–48. He died in 1849, aged 26.

(Thank you to Laura B. and Kathleen L. of the Foundation for the National Archives for suggesting Bezaleel as a candidate for today’s post!)

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